I hope when we leave this lapsing category of malaise
It is to move toward; “All better now” and “well”

And never look back ….

At those rags that became us

Chained to a monstrous reality

Foisted like gravity

An unnatural disaster, scattering months

As what you took for granted can mock

Even the most stalwert


Before we were thrown together 

You were sane and I was whole

Not the vomiting wretch you met

In the dim hallway of limbo

We held onto each other

As broken pieces seek comfort

In the sharp edges of others

Not misery loving company, as pleated savagry

Misunderstood by that exterior world named;

“Those who are well, as we are no longer”


It was always night and always day

No difference

No discernment

To starve on the circumfrance 

You understood

The sudden loss of everything

We wrote, as violet penned lovers

On pieces of ourselves

Every tear, every unfurnished gap

Showing where parts of our whole had

Turned to ashen facsimile


In our former world

We may never have

Shared a long drawn breath

And here, in a room without clocks

We assemble words like kindling

Speaking of forbidden things

The rest of the world seeks succor from

Sickness you see, is a social pariah

People flee, even family

And the world could have burnt down outside this hospital

With you and I clad in backless gowns

The ribboned IV, a sharp needle with scratched song

Our wet faces seeing only the glue of disease

Dancing like embers at the edge of pinkening day

Rolling into months, as illness will smother whatever you were before

You lost the bet ….


Longing to leave this new role with the urgent lust of addicts

Nosing bags of sugar, to reclaim health

Though it were a fabled prize

And maybe it is 

For those shod on soft shoes

Feeling every stone beneath

Something of trauma, acts as language

Only you, only I, understand

We’ll never be the same now

Whether we survived or died

Shifting mystery within, to a new state without

Everything changes, even the taste of day and close of night

A voice

A warning

Unwelcome insight

And you tell me

We are closer for sharing a preview of death

Than friends who laughed together for decades

For fear can make strange bed fellows


It is true

My friend found in darkness

Reflection of what we never say outloud

It is my wish we gather everything we have left

Set fire to the pyre

Douse argument

Walk right through

Finding out there is a bridge

Even when you almost gave up

There are hands reaching 

For whatever is left after the fall


Pitches a tent in the parking lot and waits however long

And it is that 

Or maybe nothing more than will

A will to reclaim

That sets us trying again and again

With the forge of desire

Silver in a cloudless sky

43 thoughts on “Cinder

  1. Many will say–and most are right, that something that sets a great amount of fear in people causes them to change. If there is truth in that, then this:

    “Even when you almost gave up

    There are hands reaching

    For whatever is left after the fall


    Pitches a tent in the parking lot and waits however long

    And it is that

    Or maybe nothing more than will

    A will to reclaim

    That sets us trying again and again

    With the forge of desire

    Silver in a cloudless sky”

    is as real and as beautiful as it gets. Peace to you on your journey to continued healing.

  2. Oh my God!! Whosoever is the protagonist needs help, empathy and love. This poem may be magnificent in tone and imagery but the cry is more poignant…somebody close by needs to hear that, drag them out of this malaise and offer solace.
    I hope this is fiction my friend.

  3. Ah, Peter said it so well. Another powerful poem, Candice. No one can ever understand what you’ve been through except someone who has been there. Poetry is a bridge to empathy though. Keep taking good care of yourself, my friend. πŸ’•

  4. I often wonder what tales people keep as secrets and why we hide them. I think perhaps it is because we oould not bear for them to think them trite or insignificant. Suffering gouges out the soul down to its deepest and most sacred part and so we bury them in the heart of God for we know only too well that He understandings suffering absolutely! It is only when we trust someone that we can even begin to reveal the dark recesses of our hearts and soul. And that is a rare find indeed. Then there is you who digs down deeper than most and find the courage to speak with words that are healing for many of your readers and hopelully for you as well. Love, N πŸ™‚ ❀ xoxoxoxo

  5. I see hope in this poem.
    Hope that you can find people, friends, in the darkest of times and places.
    It has been my experience that common suffering helps get closer because you don’t need to explain yourself all the time. They understand because they’ve been through something similar. And even if they need explaining, they usually don’t judge, which is priceless.
    I like the hope of having found a kindred spirit.
    Thanl you for your words!
    PS: I loved the part with description of the hospital gowns and such. I was wondering: how can you make something like this poetic? And you did it successfully!

  6. Hahaha! I’m sure. Their main purpose not being sexiness, and considering the sort of disease you described earlier… I didn’t expect them to look all fancy! πŸ˜€

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